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DraftKings to Go Public as Part of Merger

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DraftKings Inc. plans to become a public company as part of an agreement that also brings in another gambling tech firm under the Boston-based sports gaming and online betting company’s umbrella.

Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. has entered into the agreement with DraftKings, which is also combining with SBTech. Diamond Eagle is expected to change its name to DraftKings Inc. and stay on the Nasdaq stock exchange with a new ticker symbol.

DraftKings CEO and Co-Founder Jason Robins will run the combined company, which will be incorporated in Nevada as it remains headquartered in Boston. DraftKings currently has offices in San Francisco, New York, New Jersey and Las Vegas.

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DraftKings said the combined company will be valued at $3.3 billion, and it will have $500 million on hand once the deal is complete. It did not give details about its planned initial public offering.

DraftKings was founded in Boston in 2012 as a purveyor of daily fantasy sports contests, which are are online games that challenge players to build rosters of actual athletes in order to vie for cash and other prizes based on how those athletes do in games.

The company has since expanded into online and retail sports books operations in the handful of states that have legalized sports betting, including Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York.

DraftKings had previously attempted to merge with its chief rival, FanDuel.

But the two companies scrapped the plans in 2017 after the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of California and the District of Columbia sued to block it over antitrust concerns.

New York-based FanDuel completed a merger with Dublin-based gaming giant Paddy Power Betfair last year instead.

Robins said the new merger blends DraftKings' established brand in the emerging U.S. sports gambling market with the ``proven technology platform'' developed by SBTech, a company founded in 2007 that has offices on the Isle of Man, in London and elsewhere in Europe.

Diamond Eagle Acquisition is a publicly-traded, Los Angeles company that invests in media and digital entertainment ventures. It was founded earlier this year by Jeff Sagansky, a former president of CBS Entertainment, and Harry Sloan, a former chairman and CEO of MGM.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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